About 4 months ago my brother Pat, who lives in England, asked me to do a stencil for his newly renovated house. Just being asked to do the stencil was quite a compliment because my brother is an industrial designer and very particular about his house furnishings.
To give you an example - he painted his living-room seven times before he got exactly the right shade of white he wanted. (And he only got that by mixing two other shades together.) After the room had been painted he ordered some furniture on-line and said he nearly vomited when his couch arrived and it wasn't quite the right shade of white. I didn't know that there was more than one shade of white...let alone seven.
So, getting this request from my brother was very flattering. (Kind of a like a first year piano student being called up to conduct the London Philharmonic!) For the stencil design I picked a photo that I'd taken about 2 years ago of my nephew Aidan. This is one of my favorite photos, and it really captures Aidan's gentle and contemplative personality.
After putting it through a few filters in photoshop, I came up with this rough idea.
Pat loved it, and I worked on it for ages - just trying to get Aidan's face (particularly his mouth) right, and also making sure that all the white parts of the design were connected up. When you make a stencil you can't have any 'white islands' because once you start cutting the stencil out all the islands will fall out and the design will be ruined. If you look at Aidan's eyes you'll see that I couldn't have a white dot (for his iris) as an island in the middle of the eye - I had to draw a line connecting the white of the iris with the white of his face.
This was the final stencil design.
I sprayed the stencil onto flat canvas, then rolled it up and sent it over to Pat. Here's a close up photo I took before I sent it (unfortunately the stencil wasn't completely flat, so it looks a bit kinky).
This are the photos he just sent me. I'm really pleased with it.